Teachers & Students

 Teachers & Students

By Jennifer Kelleher

As I sat down to write our August newsletter for Ocean Bliss Yoga, I found myself thinking about the roles of “teacher” and “student” and how they are really just one in the same. The true teacher/student relationship has no hierarchy, but rather is an intimate and heart-centered conversation. Fellow yoga teacher, friend, and former OBY owner, Helen Kilgallen, often says during her yoga classes that her students are her teachers, and it’s very true. At Ocean Bliss Yoga, as our students honor themselves in their practices and lives, we observe and use the feedback to guide the way we teach.

I invite you to take a pause: In what ways do you show up in the role of teacher, leader, coach, or guide in your life? In what ways are you the student? How does being a student inform your role as teacher, and vice versa? What are some of the benefits you have gained from each?

I have been lucky to have many great teachers, mentors, and coaches throughout my life. When I pause to think about what made them stand out, it isn’t the number of accolades they had in the subject matter or even their excitement about what they were teaching, but rather that these teachers really cared. They looked in my eyes and saw me. They shared their wealth of knowledge from their hearts. They held a safe space, checked in with me, and met me where I was. There was compassion, patience, and presence. To be a good teacher, you have to know your students.

I remember hearing years ago: “If you’re feeling nervous before going up to teach, stop and remember that it’s not about you. It’s about the students.” This advice was so enlightening for me, and it created a huge and instant shift in how I show up in the role of “teacher.”

I also love how teaching sparks connection. Along with human connection that happens inside of the teacher/student relationship as discussed above, sharing what I am passionately learning about allows me to more fully absorb the subject matter, helping it go from knowledge (in the head) to wisdom (in the body). I find that keeping a balance between being the teacher and being the student allows me to steadily deepen my practice.

“A Course In Miracles” says, “A good teacher clarifies his own ideas and strengthens them by teaching them. Teacher and pupil are alike in the learning process. They are in the same order of learning, and unless they share their lessons conviction will be lacking. A good teacher must believe in the ideas he teaches, but he must meet another condition; he must believe in the students to whom he offers the ideas.”

Showing up as teacher and student at the same time throughout your life is an incredibly lush space to be in. I invite you over the upcoming weeks to play with keeping one eye on you as the example, modeling the way through your actions and behaviors, and the other eye on you as the student, showing up humble and open, ready to learn.

I invite you to join me (Jen) for a toning workshop called “Use Your Voice To Heal Yourself,” this Friday, August 4 at 7:15 a.m. Learn and experience how to use your own voice to radically change your energy, body, thoughts, and life. Leave with new understandings, along with simple practices and tools that you can use to regulate your state and maintain a level of harmony in your body and life. Sign up and check out more workshops going on at the studio this month at oceanblissyoga.net.

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